KWAR Tips for Flying

We were concerned that many of you would be flying home with costumes covered in gunpowder residue after attending the Academy of the Soldier or that this might be your first time flying with SWORDS! We have done some research so here is some information and some tips we have for you.

We spoke to the Transportation Safety Administration about this directly by telephone. You may also check out their website for further flying information at

According to the TSA, Transportation Safety Administration, It is perfectly legal to fly with clothes covered in gunpowder residue in your checked luggage. However, they suggest you do not try to fly with gunpowder residue on any clothes you wear into the airport or onto the airplane. They suggest that you wrap the clothes in plastic in your checked luggage. Be sure to put a note or flyer in with it from the event. And be sure to declare it at the check-in counter with the airline. Let them know there is residue on the clothes in the bags. They may be able to tag it so you don't get further hassled.

United Airlines suggested much the same.

Or TSA suggests you could ship it home by post or ups.

Also, DO NOT put locks on your luggage as a general rule. The TSA and the airline have the right to hand inspect your stuff. Try to make it easy for them so you and/or your luggage won't be pulled off the plane and your schedule disrupted.

You may use zip ties/cable ties to secure the zippers. This way it is convenient for your bag to be inspected but not easy for it to be pick-pocketed. I suggest you use zip ties of an unusual color. If your bags are inspected the airline will generally replace the zip ties. They are supposed to include a note that says your bags were inspected but if the color of the zip tie is changed you will know your bags were opened. They are easier to remove i f you don't tighten them really tight. They just need to be tight enough not to let the zipper come open.

Zip ties are also a great way to tie down long or loose straps at the last minute. Carry large nail clippers with no file on them in your pocket and use that to easily remove the zip tie so you can use the straps again at your destination.

Also use zip ties to secure your bag of fencing equipment/swords. You may wish to include a note in with your swords that says they are “theatrical fencing sports equipment”. Also, declare your “golf case” as “Sports Equipment”. That can increase your allowable luggage rates sometimes.